Last week I decide to take time off from the internet. I realized I was starting to feel like I NEEDED to check my Facebook, email, Instagram, and Pinterest every time I picked up my phone. Opening my laptop to do anything resulted in 45 minutes of getting lost in the black hole of the internet before I remembered I was online to do something specific, then at least another 15 minutes was usually spent trying to remember what exactly that something specific was. I tried for a while to limit my use, make little rules for myself about when I could and couldn’t go online. The stupidest part of it all is I would click the Facebook app for the 30th time that morning and realize I wasn’t even interested in seeing if anyone had posted anything new. I just clicked it out of habit. I do not have that many Facebook friends that I need to check it that often to keep up with my news feed. Despite the little rules and knowing how much time I was wasting I didn’t spend any less time plugged in and connected to the world.
I knew it was time for a change when my husband’s, “What are you looking at now?” became more frequent. So I figured some time apart was needed to break my habit. The week before the shut down was torture, there was an endless stream of proof that I did not have the choice to go offline, proof I did not have the luxury. I wasn’t sure I could live with the consequences of disconnecting.
Despite my best efforts to make a case for needing to stay online, I disconnected. And then… nothing happened. I just wasn’t online. I do not think I could convey to you how anticlimactic the whole thing was. Sure the first day I thought of all of the clever things I could say on Facebook, was sad I couldn’t share photos with you of how extra cute Bacon and Roxy looked that day, and wondered if any of you had posted something clever or cute that I was missing out on but the world kept on trucking just the same.
Car rides were spent knitting and talking to my husband instead of browsing the latest updates on Facebook. Without an Instagram feed to update, I just enjoyed all of the little moments for myself without missing most of it by fumbling with the camera on my phone. There was some reflection on what I wanted my internet usage to be like when I finally got back online, but for the most part my time offline was spent relaxing at home and checking the little things off my list that I couldn’t find the time to do before.
I decided I’m not going to make all of these rules about only being allowed on social media for x amount of minutes everyday during certain times of the day or making a strict outline of what my internet usage will look like. It was tempting but it doesn’t need all of that, I do not want to give being online that much weight. Sure it becomes serious when I’m not keeping up with my responsibilities and most importantly my relationships feel neglected because I am spending too much time online, but taking a week off showed me how un-serious the internet is.
Sometimes we just need to take a few days off to put things into perspective.
As always, thanks for reading.